NASA is reporting that on February 6, 2016, an asteroid exploded over the Atlantic ocean about 1,000 kms (620 miles) off the coast of Brazil. The news of explosion was tweeted by NASA’s Ron Baalke.
This is the largest asteroid explosion since the one that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.
NASA estimates this year’s explosion was the size of the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima in World War 11. But with a blast equal to 13,000 tons of TNT, it was minuscule compared to the 19-meter asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk. Scientists estimated that blast at 400,000 tons of TNT. Nearly, 1,600 people were injured as result of exploding glass caused by the explosion.
It is estimated the asteroid off Brazil was about a third the size — maybe five to seven meters wide.
NASA says there are several asteroids exploding in the atmosphere each year, but since most happen over the ocean they go unnoticed.
Because of the dangerous threats they pose to human life, NASA tracks asteroids. Of the 12,992 asteroids that it follows, NASA only designates 1,607 as “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids” (PHA).
But there are many asteroids that go unnoticed such as the one that exploded over Russia in 2013. It was completely unknown and because it came in from the sun, it was impossible to see until it blew apart over Chelyabinsk.
One of the known PHAs is a 100-foot asteroid expected to pass near the earth on March 5, 2016. Though it is difficult to guess how close this one will get, NASA estimates it will pass within 11,000 kms (7,000 miles). But they also added it could be as much as 9 million miles away. I hate those kind of plus/minus odds. This same asteroid passed by earth two years ago.
Asteroids may play a significant role in the end times. In Chapter 8 and 9 of the Book of Revelation, we have seven angels sounding trumpets announcing apocalyptic events.
Revelation is written account of a vision of the end times received by the Apostle of John while banished to the Island of Patmos.
The second, third and fifth angels describe events that may refer to asteroid strikes. The second one in particular is relevant because it refers to a giant star smashing into the ocean.
8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. (Revelation 8:8-9 NASV)
I like how the John describes it. He says it as “something like a great mountain burning with fire.”
Of course this is a perfect description of an asteroid as it enters the atmosphere. But this one is huge — mountain-like. As a comparison, the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk was thought to be the size of a bus.
The one described by John will not explode in the atmosphere, but will strike the ocean.
And there are mountain-sized asteroids out there. According to an article in The Telegraph, Russian scientist Vladimir Lipunov, based in the University of Moscow, reported that he has discovered a mountain-sized asteroid that passes near the earth every three years.
He gave it the name — ‘2014 UR116.’ Though it poses no threat at this time, Lipunov did note that as asteroids travel through space their trajectories can be affected by the gravitational pulls of other planets.
If 2014 UR116 were to hit, its blast would be 1,000 times stronger than Chelyabinsk and if it were to strike an ocean, would it turn the water red with dying sea life? Would ships be sunk by the resulting blast and Tsunamis?